What makes an argument complete and rationally persuasive?

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Scott
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What makes an argument complete and rationally persuasive?

Post by Scott » March 7th, 2010, 2:34 am

If you haven't already, please read my new article: The Four Main Elements of a Complete Logical Argument

In the article I explain that I believe the four main elements that a good, complete logical argument has are premises, sources, inferences and conclusions.

Please use this thread to discuss that article. Post any question or comments you have about the article and what is explained in it.

In the future, when posts a new thread in the on-topic sections of the forums attempting to rationally argue for something, I highly recommend taking that article into consideration and making sure your post has all four of the elements.

If you notice others attempting to make a rational argument that's missing any of the four elements, you may want to give them a link to the article as you mention to them that their argument is missing an essential part.

Thanks!
Scott
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Post by ape » March 7th, 2010, 2:46 pm

Scott wrote:What makes an argument complete and rationally persuasive?
Thanks!
Scott


Thanx for that question, Scott! :)

What makes an argument complete and rationally persuasive is when any arguer arguing an argument has complete and whole Love and Respect--which are the Powers of Persuasion-- for the opposing arguer and argument, especially when that opposing argument is in any way incomplete or irrational or lacking in any other way in the opinion of the arguer. This wholistic Love and Respect guarantees that the argument being argued does not in any way alienate who is to be convinced.

what are your thoughts on that, Scott?

Scott wrote:If you haven't already, please read my new article: The Four Main Elements of a Complete Logical Argument

In the article I explain that I believe the four main elements that a good, complete logical argument has are premises, sources, inferences and conclusions. ..


Excellent!

And Scott,
what do you think, what are your thoughts about expanding the Premise Component with a few words like this?:

Premises - A logical argument must have premises. A good, complete argument clearly states those premises and identifies them as premises. Premises are declarative statements known as propositions IN which BOTH THE OPENING OR STARTING ARGUMENT AND ITS OPPOSITE ARE INCLUDED AND from which the CONCLUDING ARGUMENT OR conclusion AND ITS OPPOSITE ARE concluded. They are the assumptions.

Examples of that would be:
Premise:
There is an equal and opposite CONCLUDING reaction for each STARTING action?

Premise:
True Love must start out in the beginning with loving both itself and its opposite, Hate, and end up in conclusion with loving both all other words and their opposites?


Scott wrote:If you notice others attempting to make a rational argument that's missing any of the four elements, you may want to give them a link to the article as you mention to them that their argument is missing an essential part.

Thanks!
Scott


Thanx, Scott, this is excellent for, in so many other words, asking each of us to essentially help in shoring up the essentials in eaxh of our own selves and in each other.

In a word-picture: hands washing hands making hands come clean. :)

Thanx.

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Post by Nihilcertum » March 7th, 2010, 3:09 pm

Good article!

I have two points to add. First, it is important to consider the relationship between one's premises and conclusions because it is easy to logically restate one's premises as a disguised 'new' conclusion. In this case, nothing has been proved and the argument, while it may be convincing, is not a complete logical argument.

Second, regarding sources, one should not cross the line between evidence and the fallacy of appealing to authority.

Thanks for the article- it is a good reminder to me and everyone here to carefully build and inspect our arguments.

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Post by Scott » March 7th, 2010, 11:52 pm

Thanks guys!

Nihilcertum wrote:First, it is important to consider the relationship between one's premises and conclusions because it is easy to logically restate one's premises as a disguised 'new' conclusion. In this case, nothing has been proved and the argument, while it may be convincing, is not a complete logical argument.

Indeed. That is called begging the question or circular reasoning.

Nihilcertum wrote:Second, regarding sources, one should not cross the line between evidence and the fallacy of appealing to authority.

They are very different but often confused, and you are right that it is important to recognize the difference because one helps make an argument more rationally convincing while the other is a fallacy.
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Post by Belinda » March 8th, 2010, 4:53 am

Don't you think that appeals to authority may be admissible when the authority is intended to show that a fact is a fact?

Very often in philosophyclub someone argues towards a conclusion that is already established or falsified by science. Science has its own authorities who are established as authorities by virtue of peer review,accepted evidence, and established theories.

My last sentence might be an assertion that can be disputed in 'Philosophy of Science' section of philosophy.But I suggest that my assertion about scientific authorities whould be accepted within other fields, because to debate it within other fields would be to go spinning off on a tangential topic.
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Post by ape » March 9th, 2010, 8:48 pm

Belinda wrote:Don't you think that appeals to authority may be admissible when the authority is intended to show that a fact is a fact? ...


Xlnt point Belinda, especially since it is authoritative to say that an appeal to authority is the fallacy of appealing to authority! :wink:

Thanx.

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Post by Santini » March 10th, 2010, 4:44 am

Good job but you might consider changing the "Sources" section to read:

"A good, convincing argument will include a source for any premiss that isn't self-evident."

I recommend this change because sometimes arguments have premisses that are self-evident and therefore are in no need of any other source to confirm their truth.

But perhaps you did not write the section in this way because you believe it to be implicitly understood that self-evident premisses require no other source of confirmation to be believed.

Also, a personal pet peeve is the use of equivocal language in argument. It seems I constantly come across arguments that use a key term in one sense in a premiss and then in a completely different sense in the conclusion. A good, convincing argument, then, states its key terms in clear, unequivocal language.

The argument . . .

All experiences (i.e., awarenesses of events, emotions, thoughts, concepts, ideas, etc.) occur solely in the mind.

Therefore, all experiences (i.e., events of which minds become aware) occur solely in the mind.

. . . is an example of this sort of fallacy (. . . otherwise it's an instance of the fallacy of petitio principii).

Of course, since to argue thusly is indeed a fallacy, perhaps your statement "The inference is either logically valid or fallacious" is intended to include this type of error in argument.

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Post by Scott » March 10th, 2010, 3:00 pm

Yes, verbal fallacies are often committed when people fail to speak clearly, directly and unequivocally.

As for the sources, I did consider writing that some premises are so self-evident that they don't need sources. But unless I spent a long time explaining that, it could mislead people into not using sources when they need them. For instance, one might say, "O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife," and then call that statement self-evident. True or not, it's not self-evident. Someone might say as a premise, "Country X routinely violates the rights of its citizens," and when asked for a source the person might claim it is self-evident.

Santini, you and I of course know that that is not what we mean by self-evident. But to offer an explanation of what actually is self-evident that excludes all that is not would be difficult, which is why I made that omission. But upon reconsideration of your suggestion, I think you're right that is an important note. So I updated the paragraph about sources to this:

A good, convincing argument will have sources for the premises. The argument is not sound if any of the premises are false. So the argument won't be convincing to a reader if the reader doubts any of the premises. Even if you think something is common knowledge or obviously true, another person may not be completely sure it is true. Besides, many things that are commonly believed to be true are not. Sources may be exempted for premises that are self-evident when a good source cannot be provided for that reason. But if a source can be found even for something well-known, allegedly self-evident or true by definition, then use a source. For instance, even something as blatantly true by definition as the proposition, "Dogs are mammals," or "If you are overweight, then you weigh more than is considered healthy," can be easily be sourced by checking an encyclopedia or dictionary. By using sources when possible even for a proposition that you think is self-evident or obvious, you avoid the risk of failing to use a source when needed because you falsely considered something self-evident that is not or that readers won't consider self-evident.
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Post by Santini » March 10th, 2010, 3:36 pm

Nicely done. I really liked this sentence: "Sources may be exempted from premises that are self-evident and if a good source cannot be provided for that reason."

You're correct, it's always better to include a source if one is available even for claims that most of us take to be self-evident.

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Post by ape » March 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm

Santini wrote:Nicely done. I really liked this sentence: "Sources may be exempted from premises that are self-evident and if a good source cannot be provided for that reason."

You're correct, it's always better to include a source if one is available even for claims that most of us take to be self-evident.


Yes, excellent, Scott!
And Santini, too!

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